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50 thoughts on “Shop/company politics! bad culture costing everyone time money!”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Donald Ross says:

    Just saying "what kind of cheese do you want with that wine"? Now Ray you know you are going to get those comments. I am GM Master tech retired after 49 years. Most people/customers never think about how the "commission paid tech" gets paid. Or "flat rate". Holding the highest training in the shop I really felt insulted to get pulled off a good paying job to do flat repair or oil change. Of course then the Service Manager would complain because you did not get the job you were working on done on time. Just to add insult to it they wanted you to do the 75 point inspection for free. This included pulling and inspecting the filters,, yes even cabin filter for free. As you made note of, there are few new tech's coming into the business and they can run their cell phones very fast! They do not want to get dirty, or work hard. Yes the Manager turned to me many times just to get the job done, clearly this is the reason they asked for your help. Some day you will turn 65 and tell them you are DONE. I did not mind working on cars and trucks, it is doing everyone else's job that bugged me. Hang in there!

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Scott Dowler says:

    I worked for a Honda Dealer for 20 years and this was one of the reasons I was happy to retire! You talk about "flat rate" being unfair. I agree but the dealer I worked for transitioned some of the more common jobs to what they called "menu pricing". They would pay a dollar amount for certain jobs. That means the more experienced higher paid guys would get even less pay. Example… changing a tire would pay a flat $5. So at my rate of $24 an hour I should've been paid about $7.50. They had a whole list of "menu pricing" items. The only good thing was on flat rate we could make it up… A V6 timing belt job paid 7.5 hours and I got to the point where I could do the job (correctly) in less the 2 hours.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark Denenberg says:

    If commission only. Mount and balance put on car. No putting spare back that's service writer's problem if didn't charge customer more.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Brian Martz says:

    It should just be left to the customer to put it back tidy in the car. Not your problem.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ramby Sophistry says:

    I mean, I have to say, you handled this whole thing really well. And that entire pay scheme sounds entirely dysfunctional.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Chas aka Bigcheezmoe says:

    What…no car wash and detail with the tire change?

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Chas aka Bigcheezmoe says:

    Well….I'll tell you what I do. I tell the idiot customer that they will be better served by going to my competitor. No joke.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Goodie Smalls says:

    Owner of company should absorb it the company makes money for the mechanics work so they should take the lower amout for that

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Michael Lawrence says:

    We charge actual time on repairs that involves extra time.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Long Johnson says:

    I work for flat rate at a GM dealership in British Columbia, Canada & I myself would just bite the bullet. I like to think that having a customer return over & over because of the excellent service will benefit your shop & your livelihood in the end. What kills me is the warranty labour rates. That's where I get a little bitter.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars william mcdorman says:

    Going to ruffle a feather, its simple, Do you sell tires? If you do, bite the bullet, if you don't, send them to someone who does.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tony Garcia says:

    To many comments to read just to try and find out why a good looking almost new tire was changed when it could have been fixed with a plug or patch did we miss something in the video

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 1soupasaurus says:

    Your point goes way farther if you think about a Ford with swollen nuts!

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gato86 says:

    Tbh I live in Australia and there is no such thing as flat rate and I would absolutely hate flat rate as we have to do things differently.
    For instance we don't have just an oil and filter change , it's a full blown safety inspection as well as all fluids which it takes about 1.2 to 1.5 hrs with no problems.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Star Falx says:

    There is one way Ray, u setup you own shop and create that positive culture, if u have the capacity. You get to choose you own team of responsible people.

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars andyman58 says:

    I would let the customer know that we would do the standard tire replacement, repair, balance, etc, but will throw the spare back in the trunk and let the customer stow it unless they want to pay extra. That's what the shops around here do.

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars frank o donnell says:

    The company should take the slack on jobs like that, as this is not the tech fault, if the company wants that customer to return then they have to take the hit

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bob Rob says:

    But when it takes an hour to change a control arm that is spec'd for 7 hours… it can go both ways.

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Chris Stromberg says:

    It's called the "race to the bottom", its everywhere, it occurs in every business! When employees stand up and speak out about this very issue, they are often vilified by the media as greedy employees who are incompetent and unable to understand how a business is run.

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Brian Davies says:

    This situation also applies to other companies too, expecting jobs to be done that are not paid for / in job description. I, as a customer in your / any shop like this will say "just do the tyre, anything else outside whats being paid for is my responsibility"

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars herc ules says:

    I have no idea it was that bad. I don't know about the mechanics, but here in Australia we pay a labour charge for the actual time it takes. Most people are paid a set wage but could include bonuses. You have some fine insight for a young person though mate,

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Franklin Werren says:


  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars David Alderman says:

    flat rate is the very reason I got out of the public sector and went to private fleets. paid by the hour. not flag time.

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gabriel Soto says:

    So true of what you say… 100%

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jeremy7991 says:

    I'm a tire tech at a large chain. While there is some pressure because I do get timed on my tire jobs, I'm actually paid by the hour. Thank you Ray, your video makes me appreciate being paid by the hour!

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Edgar Lopez says:

    I feel all industries are getting worst

  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars william osgood says:

    My rule #1 for doing a small B.S. job like that is that I won't even pull the car in until I am given the part in my hand and that it is verified as correct. Amazing how much wasted time can be avoided by doing that!

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Justin Isaacs says:

    I used to work for a certain chain here in Tulsa, and the shop politics were atrocious for YEARS. This company paid hourly, so the pay aspect wasnt important, but there was a lot of "it's not my job, its your job." I admit there were times i had my plate full but if my lube ticket also had a 4 new on it i'd slam it out as well. If youre an experienced tech you can rock out a single tire in under 10/15 minutes, and ship it out the door.

    At the end of the day, we're there to serve the customer. Take care of them today, they'll be back again for the same service.

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars motha trucker says:

    $18 an hour? no wonder america has so many problems. a good mechanic should be on $50-70/hour…here people at mc donalds are on $21 /hr

  30. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars CountryFriedGamer 15O says:

    The tire shop i go to i personally don't expect them to put the spare back in place and trim. They ask where i want it and i just say just lay it in the trunk. The way i look at it is i got everything out to change it on the side of the road then I should put everything back the way it was. At a dealership i can see it because they overcharge anyway but a normal shop no. If you're paid to do a job then you just do that job and nothing more. I also think that most certainly the sales guy should be the one to fetch the tire for replacement so you don't waste time searching. At the very least go back and make sure its there and slap a post it note on it saying the car its for so its easily identifiable to the tech. My tire shop doesnt even have my car pulled in until they have the tires ready to go on.

  31. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Smith says:

    I usually give the tech a $20 tip for a good job…..

  32. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Tetreault says:

    I say don't cry about it…. You win some, you lose some…. Okay, this job says 0.2 hours and it takes you 0.5. But then the next job says it takes 4 hours, but you complete it in 3…. It all works out in the end. In my experience, I see most flat rate mechanics make far more flat rate hours than they actually put in work hours, so they're consistently coming out ahead of the game

  33. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James C says:

    Just watched your video Mr. Ray and you are correct with the extra time because you are working with two different tires with this kind of service. I truly wish you would open your own shop. You know both sides of the buiness, being a hard working mechanic you also see the customer side of billing. That being said extra work is extra time. One day soon I will hopefully open one of your videos that shows Ray's auto repair shop.

  34. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Marc Shaner says:

    Yep sounds like you’re getting screwed. And unfortunately the shop doesn’t care.

  35. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Aaron Burson says:

    Just to add to the time line, manufacturers use computer crap that should be owners check list responsibility.

  36. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Wyatt Wolfe says:

    I always put everything back.. it makes them happy. Which makes me happy.. and happy is worth more than 3 bucks

  37. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars RoadTrip Eddie says:

    Nicer than the old days tire balancer, tire is horizontal, step down on the lifter bar, and a bubble level in the center of the balancer.

  38. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sabbaticus says:

    Sounds like the scope of this assignment needs to be fully described to the T so that anything outside that becomes recoverable time. On the other hand surely there are jobs where you come out ahead (2hr flat rate that you do in 1.5)? I can see the flat rate model leading to quality management issues because the guy on the front line is carrying the burden of getting it done on time. How much of the quality management should be carried by the company and how much by the front line? If either is greedy it doesn't work.
    I am curious to see how Ray will handle this when he hangs his own shingle and moves to the other side?

  39. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Turteru Gamer says:

    So I get paid hourly at my job but that's because we only change tires. Thankfully we can change 4 tires in about 20 minutes with just 2 techs working and also like you mentioned about the "extras" are all covered. I agree that the pay should match the amount of work required including all the extras such as putting the spare away and the spare tools.

  40. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Steve Baker says:

    Small customer care things – topping up their coolant – squirting some brake cleaner on some dirty bits – those are things that the customer will probably never notice…and that's a problem. If you're taking the view that customers will appreciate you going the extra mile – it won't help if they don't KNOW that you went the extra mile.

    So perhaps what is needed here is some way for the tech to communicate to the customer that "Hey: I'm Ray – I did the following three things that improve your car and didn't cost you a dime! It took me 5 minutes for which I wasn't paid." Then, like in a restaurant, when they pay their bill – there is a [0%][5%][10%][15%] tip box they can click on to add a tip.

    It works in restaurants…why not in your service industry?

    People get very possessive about their cars and probably would pay 10% more if they knew that you were looking out for them. But unlike in a restaurant, they can't SEE the extra mile you went for them – and they can't see you as a person. It's a shame they can't directly see how hard you worked on their car – because health and safety rules would never allow them to stand there and watch.

    But Ray: Consider that perhaps you've personally hit on the magic bullet here. Give your techs video cameras – tell the customer they can watch their cars being fixed on a video stream on their phones – let the techs explain what they're doing and what the problems are. Let the customer see those skinned knuckles and the struggle to get that last stupid bolt undone that added 20 minutes to a 30 minute job. If they can SEE that you're not slacking off – they can APPRECIATE the little extra things you do…then perhaps they'll respond by tossing you some extra $$$ ?

    Have your managers stick a Go-Pro camera and mic into every bay – let the techs turn them on if they want to (keep it optional) – and if they do – then give the customers a chance to show their appreciation by clicking on a 0/5/10/15% tip button at the checkout.

    I actually think this could work!

    Techs get to see how their extra effort is appreciated. Customers get to understand why a seemingly simple job took a lot longer. Management don't have to pay anyone a dime. Win/Win/Win.

    (Of course if you're a lazy tech who cuts corners and botches jobs…it's not going to end well…but consider that a learning experience! And if you're good – expect customers to ask for you by name to fix their cars!)